MMO Fan Shot: The Mets 8-9-1 Has Been Abysmal

New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

An MMO Fan Shot by Ryan Flanagan

Agonizingly documented to the point of nauseam, the Mets situation at shortstop is one that has frustrated Met fans to the point of complete and total state of confusion. It’s is well known, well documented, and proven in the stat line that the two-headed SS platoon the Mets have been utilizing is one that boasts AAA or AAAA+ players at-best. While their gloves for the most part are solid, their offensive production is not only bad, it’s virtually nonexistent.

Ruben Tejada and or Omar Quintanilla may be useful as a 25th man on a deep roster. They are not, however, useful as everyday shortstops on a team starved for offense. While things started bad for the Met shortstops, the situation worsened and has completely fallen off a cliff.

The shortstops aren’t the only ones not producing. The pitchers spot in the lineup has been historically bad to-date with Mets pitchers yet to get a single hit five days into May. They are now an MLB record 0-for-54 on the season.

The leadoff spot, prior to Lagares getting his shot, has likewise been void of production. The 8-9-1 turnover in the Met lineup has been as simple as a 1-2-3 inning for the opposition so far this year:

Shortstops:

In the Colorado series, Mets shortstops were an astonishing combined 0-for-18 with 4 strikeouts and 13 men left on base. Against the Marlins the futility continued going 0-for-9. That, my fellow Met fans, is beyond unacceptable. It’s borderline incomprehensible. I’ll go as far as to say it’s nearly offensive. So far this season, the two SS’s are:

  • Tejada: .179 BA, .304 OBP, .509 OPS, 4 R, 6 RBI
  • Quintanilla: .240 BA, .296 OBP, .576 OPS, 2 R, 3 RBI
  • 2014 SS Average: .194 BA, .303 OBP, .526 OPS

It really doesn’t get much worse than that. The issue is further compounded by what follows it in the order.

Pitchers:

Mets pitchers have set a new MLB high (or I guess low) for longest streak of at-bats without getting a hit. Obviously, pitchers are not relied on to be offensive contributors, but man, Mets pitchers haven’t even made things interesting. In fact, they have literally done nothing so far. They are an incredible 0-for-58 through 33 games with an .037 OBP and 3 RBI. The only word that comes to mind is “wow” and in a bad way. It’s indescribable how the Mets haven’t even accidentally had a pitcher get a hit by now. Whatever the reason, the ninth spot in the lineup is a virtual out so far this year.

Leadoff Spot:

The situation doesn’t improve much at the leadoff spot for the Mets either. However, Juan Lagares has shined since getting an opportunity to leadoff. In 28 plate appearances batting leadoff entering today’s game, Lagares is slashing at .407/.429/.474 with six doubles, a triple and a 1.142 OPS.

Terry has an unwavering admiration for Eric Young Jr. that few fans can seem to grasp. Young was back at leadoff duty to start the Miami series last night, even though Lagares had been destroying the ball in that role. But that’s another argument for another day…

EYJ has served as the primary leadoff man for the Mets this season, to a tune of a .216 BA with a .313 OBP, .581 OPS, 22 R and 4 RBI. While he is an absolute machine on the basepaths and is on pace to again steal a ton of bases, getting to first base still remains a huge issue for EY. He also has no ability to drive in runs, which has cost the Mets in many big spots. Prior to Lagares’ recent (and hopefully continued) success in the leadoff spot, the Mets have been getting little to no production from that critical spot in the lineup. Hopefully Terry has the foresight to see Lagares’ usefulness at the top of the order, but I won’t hold my breath.

Three Quick Outs:

The 8-9-1 turnover in the Mets order has been nothing short of a black hole. Averaged together, the 8-9-1 for the Mets this season (outside of pinch hitters) have contributed a combined:

.131 BA – .207 OBP – .337 OPS over 32 games

Essentially 1/3 of the Mets order has been utterly non-responsive. In the end, the Mets needs to improve this situation and fast.

One solution seems logical and that would be keeping Lagares at leadoff over EYJ. That has the potential to completely impact the lineup immediately. As for the pitchers, there may not be a single thing anyone can think of to resolve that issue beyond prayer.

However, when it comes to the shortstop, Stephen Drew is one option who remains available and could certainly provide more spark and give the Mets some proven production at a critical position. Is there any chance the Mets pick up the phone and give Boras a call? Or they can make a call to Wally Backman in Las Vegas and bring up Wilmer Flores who is already on the 40-man roster anyway.

The 8-9-1 has truly been dreadful and suffocating. We need to address this like yesterday.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Ryan Flanagan on May 6th. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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  • prosoundz

    Colon, Granderson, Chris Young instead of Abreu. WTF!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hotstreak

    3, 4 and 5 atrocious.

  • mad met

    Yeah 4 has been awesome

  • jetsmetsfan

    Say nothing about 3

  • MAS0031

    On our way to another top 10 pick in the 2015 draft. Book it!

  • Hotstreak

    atrocious is kind.

  • Waz0787

    We’re drafting 9th next year.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    What about the “7”…you know…Travis d’Arnaud???

    Travis d’Arnaud

    .200 AVG./.284 OBP/.306 SLG./.590 OPS/ .70 OPS+

    He’s pretty much been an easy out.

  • reality check

    Really the only 2 players I have any confidence in to get a hit is Lagares and Murphy

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    What about the the “6Million Dollar man” “140Million Dollar man”, Wright???

    Waste of money

  • Monix

    You can slant numbers to defend a position as this author does.
    I’ll do the same for argument sake.
    Mets are 1-6 since EY Jr.’s benching. When he was benched, he led the team with 20 runs scored which was about double what anyone else on the team had not named Murphy. He also was among the league leaders in runs scored and stolen bases.
    This team has trouble manufacturing runs with him out of the lineup. I think he brings more to the party than Chris Young.

  • Monix

    That’s gayer than your Cerrone picture. Weak Sauce.

  • Phoenix Met

    As bad as some keyboard tough guy using the term “gay” to describe something he doesn’t like?

    Keep doing your thing BBLB.

  • Monix

    I didn’t know this blog had such a large gay following. Shame on me. I apologize.
    I think it’s really sweet that your kind stick up for each other on here and that those public service announcements about the use of the word gay as bad were inspirational for you.

  • Phoenix Met

    Ok, at least that response made me laugh. Don’t get me wrong, your still a huge douche canoe, but +1 for you Mr. Tough Guy.

  • Destry

    How could EY2 drive in runs from the leadoff spot when the pitchers are 0-54 and the 8th spot in the lineup is slightly better than 0-54? Not trying to say EY should play, but his RBI production certainly isn’t the reason.

  • Peter S

    This offense sucks. Let’s be honest…we have a catcher that can’t hit, a 3B that is miscast as a 3 hole hitter, our SS can’t possibly hit any worse. Our 2B has no power, our 1B can’t drive in runs nor hit with any real consistent power. Our CF would probably bat 7th in most major league lineups, and our corner OFs are one demensional guys who can’t hit same side pitching. It’s truly pathetic. And now poor Wilmer Flores is going to have to be a savior now.

  • Destry

    SO if Abreu is in the lineup, that means Tejada, TDA, Wright, Murphy, EY2, Lagares, & Niewenhuis are still in it. Honestly 1B is the least of our worries. All we had to do is sign Stephen Drew and we’d be in 1st place.

  • Scottydoeskno328

    You forgot to add 7th spot to complete the abysmal offensive production that we have in TDA.

  • Scottydoeskno328

    1st base is a huge worry because Duda is terrible.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Scotty,

    Darn it, I was starting to type that when your reply came through.

  • prosoundz

    Exactly. Abreu at 1st base and Flores at SS would’ve been a huge upgrade. Or they could’ve gone with signing Abreu. Flores at 2B and trade Murphy and Wheeler for Profar. Who is hurt but well worth the wait. I would’ve dealt with Tejada, Flores Abreu if I knew Profar was working his way back from injury ready to take over.

  • willymayshayes

    Flores another 2 hits tonight, a 2B and 2 more RBIs

  • prosoundz

    What the Mets offseason could’ve looked like

    Abreu 6 year 68 mil 11 mil a year.

    Flores at 2ND

    Wheeler and Murphy traded for Profar. Tejada to play 2nd for til Profar got back from injury.

    Nelson Cruz on a 1 year deal. Chris Young 1 year deal to patrol the OF with Lagares. Rinse and Repeat with other OF til Puello and Nimmo are ready. Lets face it, everyone BUT the front office could see that Lagares was the future star CF of the Mets. The rotation could’ve easily been filled by guys like Dice K and Harang or others. Til Syndergaard, Montero and deGrom got the call.

    What we got was 4 years and 60 mil worth of an older Granderson. Even if he produces, its the WRONG move because of the guys age. We want to get young and talented not old and losing the talent by the year.

    We got an already old Colon for 2 years at 20 mil, who again even if he is solid isn’t going to get us a prospect of the caliber of Abreu. Colon was basically expensive rotation filler, which Dice K and Harang would’ve been able to match or maybe a notch below.

    Chris Young was a nice signing to be filler but at 7.5 was more expensive than anticipated. Sandy has the reputation of being patient and when he REALLY needed to be he pulled the trigger way early on CY. Being that Cruz got only 8 mil.

    It’s these kind of dumb founded moves that make me lose all confidence in Alderson and his baffoons to make any rational smart logical baseball decisions.

  • prosoundz

    Flores is a star. At least we have 2 now. Lagares and Flores. Hopefully Flores can be a notch better than Peralta at SS, then we really have something. Alderson really has to consider trading one of his rotation arms to land Jurisckson Profar. Profar plays 2nd and SS. You could swap Flores and Profar and have a mean hitting up the middle with Lagares Profar Flores and hopefull d’Arnaud figures it out.

  • prosoundz

    Well to be honest, Flores adds pop to a position that doesn’t normally have it whether is SS or 2B. I think Alderson has to trade some of those starters to get a SS and 1B who could hit. The only reasonable player with promise and is young switch hitter who plays SS and 2B is Profar and he is good. 1B I have no idea who he could trade for.

  • Can we stop with the homophobic slurs. We do not allow sexist, racist remarks here. Actually, we don’t allow personal insults either.

  • Hotstreak

    http://www.milb.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2014_05_07_lvgaaa_slcaaa_1&mode=gameday

    Flores 3 hits and a 2 out rbi

    Black in last of 10th 51’s up by 2.

  • Scottydoeskno328

    Flores 3-6 tonight and Vic Black with a save striking out the side. Time to bring up both of these guys and drop Valverde.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Monix,

    I agree about how numbers can be slanted and I do know that EYJ had this uncanny ability to get on base leading off the game, stealing second and then scoring a run, one of the few the Mets would get in many a contest. So his presence was a contributing factor to some of our wins before he was benched. But I did notice that in the later innings with one or two outs, it was different. Somehow he didn’t get the walks or hits he got leading off the game. Maybe one advantage he had was the pitcher not being completely loose and him being the first batter when the pitcher was not yet in his rythym and so getting good strikes in his smaller strike zone was tougher at that point

    However, the Mets won a lot of those games because of their outstanding pitching – the 20 runs scored by EYJ would not have been nearly enough to chalk up wins if we only had quality pitching performances. We had to have OUTSTANDING starts and relief outings to go with that. And we did.

    But we were also aided by a lot of things that we now see were going in their favor. A lot of teams beat themselves and we took advantage of those opportunities and won. We played four games against St. Louis that is still not hitting at all and won a game with Cardinal pitchers walking in runs. They played an Atlanta club on the road that was in a deep hitting slump and at home won a game due to Dan Uggula’s two costly errors. They caught Arizona when at it’s coldest climate change ever. After losing the first three at home, they went up against a Cincinnati team that literally had no bullpen (OK, that made them even with us). So the first month schedule that looked so overwhelmingly tough against us was really one in which it was favorable.

    The breaks went in our favor and that is a part of baseball too. Unfortunately, those breaks are becoming less and less and without them we are showing that we don’t have a balanced enough club to win without them.

  • Hotstreak

    Per Rubin: Cesar Puello was placed on the temporary inactive list by the 51s before the game

    Other sources report that there have not given any reasons behind the move.

    http://www.yardbarker.com/mlb/articles/cesar_puello_placed_on_temporary_inactive_list/16422769

  • Oh dear. I thought watching these guys “play” was bad. Those numbers are absolutely atrocious. Like throw up in your mouth unstoppably atrocious. Wow.

  • DrDooby

    Nelson Cruz isn´t exactly a good fit for the NL and the vast dimensions of CitiField – neither offensively nor defensively.

    And his 1-year-deal with the Orioles was a panic late in the off-season caliber move for him. This is certainly not a deal he would have signed in December when he was supposedly looking for a 4-year, 70 million $ deal.

    Abreu does look very good and maybe like an opportunity the Mets missed. Let´s see how the league adjusts to him and how he adjusts to the adjustments but so far he looks very much legit. Still, the needs in the OF were biggger than at 1b, so going with Granderson made more sense – though Granderson sure hasn´t looked good.

    Who says the Wheeler / Murphy for Profar deal you suggest in your Monday morning QB scenario has ever been on the table btw ? In fact, since the winter, Profar´s value has probably decreased the most among these three and odds are that the Mets would have fewer wins today had they made that deal than they actually have now (of course, made up by also getting Abreu in your scenario).

    And sorry, Dice K Matsuzaka is not as good as Bartolo Colon. How often has Dice K

  • DrDooby

    …completed 7 innings over the past 5 or 6 years ? Colon has given the Mets pretty good to very good starts in 5 out of 7 outings, giving up 3 runs or less and averaging almost 7 IP per start. The two clunkers he had in Colorado and Anaheim have destroyed his early season stats, of course.

    Dice K is a # 5 type starter who may get you into the 6th inning but who – on average – will make your bullpen work at least one full extra inning over Colon.

    The Mets needed a veteran workhorse SP this winter. Be it Colon, Feldman, Nolasco, Arroyo or someone from that ilk to put in their young staff as a stabilizer. Not another scrap heap back-end type to hold a spot warm for the kids like Marcum, Chris Young or Dice K have in the recent past.

    The biggest structural issues have been sporting the worst SS combo in Baseball yet again this year. THAT is Alderson´s big failure and all on him.

    The bullpen being shaky has in part been a result of Parnell´s injury and in part because this year is also about breaking in pitchers like Familia or Germen or Black who haven´t been consistent, in Black´s case so bad, that a AAA return was necessary.

    Some offense has been sacrificed for better defense. But if the two best & most expensive bats areee struggling – Wright & Granderson – it´s tough to get an offense going. These two need to produce.

  • reality check

    as of right now you are right, but part of that is for his past play.and he is our face, but he is one of the reasons we are in this boat today,not the only reason, but one of them

  • JonfromBklyn

    Flores is a star? Tell that to Greg Jeffries.

  • Peter S

    My point was that the whole offense needs to improve and get going. You can’t replace all of them and the stars (Wright, Grandy) need to be stars. And the role players like Murph, Young and Duda have to increase their production. Tejada needed to be replaced. Lagares and TdA along with Flres can’t be counted on to carry this offense at this age. Whatever they get from those guys is gravy.

  • Scottydoeskno328

    I agree with everything your saying but you def show no love to Murphy. He is currently our best hitter next to Lagares. He’s not going anywhere. He’s a legitimate 2nd baseman and a top 10 2nd baseman at that.

  • Scottydoeskno328

    Lol well hopefully the abismal 7,8,9,1 will finally be over with Lagares at 1 and Flores at the 7 spot starting at SS.